Business Aircraft Trip Planning Tips: Indonesia
Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands stretching 3,181 miles latitudinally. While business aircraft operations are usually confined to a few selected locations, there are tech stop opportunities to consider in this region. Due to a somewhat lengthy permit approval process, it’s best to work with your 3rd-party provider, as early as possible, to ensure smooth operations.
The following is an overview of what you need to know when operating to Indonesia:
1. Jakarta and Denpaser/Bali as primary destinations
Most general aviation movements to Indonesia go to Jakarta – primarily Halim (WIHH), but also Soekarno (WIII) – and Denpasar/Bali (WADD). All are 24/7 airports of entry with full Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ); ground services; and credit available with prior arrangement. None require airport slots or prior permissions required. There are no Stage 2 noise restrictions currently in effect. Note that high season for travel to Indonesia is typically July-September and November.
2. Landing permits are required
Private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights require landing permits for Indonesia. Landing permit requests officially require seven business days to process and cannot be guaranteed if requested less than four business days in advance. All permit requests are vetted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Security and Defense. These departments are open Monday-Friday, 0700-1700 local. Note that approvals must be confirmed from foreign affairs and security/defense prior to the permit request being passed on to CAA. As this is a lengthy process, it’s not possible to receive permits for Indonesia within one day unless it’s an emergency. Changes to information on original permit approvals require permit revisions. Note that CAA usually shuts down on bank and other holidays, so it’s best to check to ensure you’re not requesting a permit during a time of closure.
3. Overflight permits are necessary
While Indonesian overflight permits require at least four days’ lead time, seven days is recommended. All overflight permit requests are reviewed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Security and Defense before being routed to CAA. Again, note that CAA usually shuts down on bank and other holidays as mentioned above. Note that overflight permits are only needed when transiting Indonesian airspace, but aren’t landing in the country.
4. Permit documentation and validity
In addition to certificates of registration and airworthiness, 3rd-party liability insurance is required, and insurance documentation must always be onboard the aircraft. When you apply for landing permits, a local business contact must be provided. Note that landing and overflight permits are valid for seven days. If your schedule changes, outside of the approved schedule, you’ll need to revise the permit.
5. Operating considerations
Note that information on International Civil Aviation Organization flight plans must include captain’s name, emergency equipment onboard, and aircraft color/markings. If this information is not included, your pre-filed flight plan will not be accepted, and the agent or captain will be called in to re-file. Note that no Indonesian resident may travel out of the country on a non-Indonesian-registered aircraft unless he or she arrived on the aircraft. Also note that when you overfly Natuna Island on airway M758 or Matak Island on airway N884, an Indonesian overflight permit is needed. Although these islands are within Singapore’s airspace, both are Indonesian territory.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) requirements will come into play on June 25, 2015. For more information on the requirements and the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) supplement, please see our article entitled "Business Aviation ADS-B Mandates – Where Are We Now?"
6. Passport and visa requirements
Depending on nationality visas may be required for both crew members and passengers, and passports must have at least six months’ remaining validity. In certain cases visas on arrival are possible with a maximum stay in Indonesia of 30 days. Operators who wish to obtain visas on arrival should allow plenty of time to confirm requirements with their 3rd-party provider and/or ground handler. Completing the necessary paperwork for a visa on arrival may involve 30-60 minutes’ additional time on the ground upon arrival in country.
7. Clearing CIQ
For CIQ at WIHH, passengers wait in a dedicated lounge during the clearance process. In the case of WADD, there’s no VIP lounge available, but passengers have express clearance options through the main terminal and do not stand in queue with commercial airline passengers. At other Indonesian airports, you’ll clear CIQ via the main terminal. Always check with your ground handler in advance on any express clearance options that may be available via main terminals at other locations.
8. Restricted ramp access
Ramp access with private vehicles is generally not possible at Indonesian airports due to security concerns. Ramp access may, however, be requested, and it’s at the discretion of airport authorities to approve or disapprove. In-flight caterers and other vendors are subject to screening prior to gaining access airside.
9. Hotel and local transport considerations
Major international airport destinations in Indonesia have good selections of 4- and 5-star hotels, with many large international hotel chain options available. During high season you may experience increased prices and extended cancellation policies for hotel bookings. Prepaid transportation (car with driver) is suggested for local transportation in Indonesia. Public taxis are not recommended and should be avoided due to security concerns.
10. Security situation
Security briefs are always recommended when traveling to Indonesia. There are some known high-crime areas where aircraft security and secure transportation for passengers/crew members are recommended. Due to high crime rates, it’s suggested that credit cards only be used at large international hotels.
For general tips on security planning, read:
- Security Planning for Business Aviation Travel – Part 1: Pre-Planning
- Security Planning for Business Aviation Travel – Part 2: Vetting and Arranging for Security
11. Availability of aviation fuel credit
It’s recommended to provide advance notice of aviation fuel uplift, and volume requirements, when traveling to and within Indonesia. Fuel credit may be an issue at some outlying airports. In rare cases cash payment for aviation fuel uplift may be required. This can be a particularly important consideration when planning tech stops at more remote locations in Indonesia.
12. Travel considerations for domestic airports
For travel to secondary and domestic airports, always confirm prior to travel service availability and language capabilities at the airfield. In most cases it’s best to have a supervisory ground handling agent repositioned to the airfield to assist with local handling.
In addition to landing and overflight permit planning, it’s important to be aware of visa requirements when operating to Indonesia. While operations to major Indonesian destinations are straightforward, additional lead time is necessary when planning stops at domestic airport locations.
If you have any questions about this article or about operating into Indonesia, contact me at email@example.com.